Sunday, March 11, 2018

Butler Canyon Loop Solo Backpack

The guidebook really had this one wrong!  I started up Butler Canyon and after 4.5 miles started looking for the "saddle-shaped boulder" and the trail up the slope; neither was found.  I scrambled up the cliff and hoped to see the way to the playa but saw more canyons.  Good thing I had my GPS and maps.  I found a strenuous cross-country route to the playa (which I think was a different one than that mentioned in the book).  After going over a low saddle, I found a good spot for camp among the cacti and rocks.  It was really windy at night but I was cozy in my quilt and home-made micro-fleece buff.  Next morning, with rain possible, I got an early start and traced my way down a drainage into Box Canyon.  This lead to Coyote Creek where I filled up on some water.  Unfortunately my Sawyer Squeeze was completely clogged so I had to add some tablets I keep as a backup. A few more miles of walking got me to the turn-off for Alcoholic Pass.  The trail up the pass was steep but nice.  The views of Borrego Springs were great.  After cresting the pass, it was easy going down an alluvial fan to the road and back to my car.

Butler and Rockhouse Canyon Junction

Butler Canyon

Where's that trail?

Camp among the cacti

Coyote Creek flowing strong

Alcoholic Pass register